JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (Oct. 16, 2009) - Unseasonably cold temperatures and a steady rain did not stop Oregon State's Diego Velasquez from posting an impressive first round score Friday during the opening day of the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at The Ridges.
Velasquez, ranked No. 16 in the country by Golfstat.com, fired a round of 6-under-par 66 to take a two-shot advantage over Wake Forest's Daniel Meggs and Duke's Wes Roach on the individual leaderboard. In addition, Velasquez's effort powered the Beavers to the team lead as well, as No. 13 Oregon State holds a one-stroke edge over No. 21 Tennessee.
Velasquez said he had a simple approach to the day.
"It's a course you've never seen before and with these conditions you just go out there and hit it, and you can expect anything," Velasquez said. "You can expect it to be bad or good. I was glad I hit the ball really well and got it in the fairway, because in the rough … it was bad."
While the Beavers fired a team score of 2-under-par 286, the host East Tennessee State Buccaneers saw an otherwise strong first round performance falter over the final three holes of the day. In all, the Bucs combined as a team to drop 13 strokes on holes No. 16, No. 17 and No. 18. Because they were playing on the team's home course, the Bucs were not pleased.
"It's hard to really know what the reason was for struggling there," said ETSU junior Rhys Enoch (Cornwall, England), who finished the day as the Bucs' top performer with an even-par 72 to finish tied for 18th. "I made three terrible bogeys in a row there and as a team it was just frustrating. The good news is that we're still just eight strokes."
Indeed, the conditions kept any team from really taking control on the first day, as 12 teams are still within 11 strokes of the Beavers. The Bucs are ninth, with two teams tied for second and five teams tied for fourth.
Along with Enoch's effort, the Bucs were led by sophomore Devin Komline (Dorset, Vermont), who posted a 1-over 73 to tie for 27th, while junior Paul O'Kane (Castledawson, Northern Ireland) carded a 2-over 74 to tie for 34th.
Second round action will continue on Saturday and Golfstat.com will once again provide live scoring updates. Meanwhile, ETSUBucs.com will have a complete wrap up of the day's play at the conclusion of action on the course.